A new surface didn’t stop stewards denying Rob Modrow a start.
A new surface didn’t stop stewards denying Rob Modrow a start. Rob Barich

Rain cancels Summer Cup again

BUNDABERG Racing Club officials were forced to eat their own words on Saturday when Queensland Racing (QR) stewards ruled the newly upgraded Thabeban Park track unsafe for racing.

Despite sunshine beaming from clear blue skies all day, only a phantom betting meet was held and no local races went ahead.

Speaking with the NewsMail on Thursday, Bundaberg Racing Club vice president Robert Modrow said only a cyclone could put a dampener on the first race of the season.

But it bucketed down on Friday afternoon, and when stewards inspected the track early Saturday morning, there were two wet spots that worried them.

“I’d say 90% of the track was perfect and it was only those couple of spots that made them err on the safe side,” Modrow said.

“Queensland Racing in their wisdom always makes safety a priority and they felt that it was just too dangerous to have horses on the track.”

Modrow was understandably frustrated that, once again, rain had derailed the local meet.

“It is completely out of our control though, because we are allocated dates by QR and one always falls at this time of the year – right in the middle of our wet season,” he said.

He said that the decision was also made early to ensure trainers did not drive large distances to attend a race that was later scratched.

“We have lots of Gladstone, Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba trainers that need to know early on whether there will be a race or not, so stewards keep that in mind.”.

Rather than get bogged down in the financial loss Modrow remained positive.

“It’s definitely a loss for us, but I think the damage the rain would have done to the old track may have cost us more to repair than the money we’ve lost from not having races,” he said.

“250mm on the old track would have done some serious damage.”

The club is unable to reschedule the meet according to QR regulations, and it is the second year straight the Summer Cup has fallen victim to the weather.

More than 100 punters still made the trip to Thabeban Park to take part in the phantom meet, placing bets on races around the country and enjoying what was a beautiful day at the track.

“It was the perfect day for a race, I think it was just that last 10mm on Friday night that was the difference between going ahead or not,” Modrow said.

“It was a line ball decision and they keep the safety of the horse and jockey foremost in mind.”

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